Maria Holland

Where Are You Going? Have You Eaten?

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2010 at 1:20 am

I feel so official.  Not only do I have a Chinese bank account (complete with ATM card and little bank account ledge), but today I signed up for online banking.  It was surprisingly easy and came with a super-cool, high-security security keychain!  Every time I log on I have to enter my username, PIN, and the ever-changing security code from the keychain.  I’m basically like a secret agent or something.  In reality, though, the security gained by this measure is probably offset by the fact that I have to use IE to access the site, and the suspicious software that Bank of China insisted I download.

In oral class this afternoon we went over greetings in Chinese.  It’s much more than just 你好, as we’re learning – apparently that one’s really just reserved for foreigners.  They often greet each other by asking “Have you eaten?”, “How have you been recently?”, or “Where are you going?”.  Our teacher took great care to stress that these questions are meaningless, and you should answer very briefly without worrying about the truth.  I’m one of those people who actually mean it when they ask you “How are you?” or “What’s up?” (and I try to answer honestly), so this totally rubs me the wrong way.  Are students learning English taught this about our greetings? 

Worst part of class: the fact that we have way too many students and those who come late have to raid other classrooms for chairs.  Best part of class: when the teacher told us that there was no such thing as a free lunch – in Chinese: 没有免费的午餐!

This evening, I went with some friends to the tailor.  (I’m just checking things off my to-do list like a madman these last few days!)  The French had ordered some clothes last week, so we went to pick up Virginie’s dress and place our own orders.  The tailor is located in a two-floor fabric mall, where you buy the fabric you need after consulting with the tailor.  I brought my black dress to get copied in a more colorful print, which is going to cost me 220 yuan (just over $30 – expensive because the heavy fabric required).  I can’t wait to see my new dress, especially after seeing what he made for Virginie – based on a picture!

I left with way more ideas of dresses I want to have.  I am my mother’s daughter and fabric is a secret weakness of mine.  She looks at shelves of fabric and sees a quilt; I look at bolts and see dresses.  I plan to spend some time perusing fashion magazines online; suggestions are most welcome!

  1. So that’s it! We just need to get you different glasses so you can see the QUILTS!

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